How to make recreational centers more accessible

Hello everyone:
Each month I will be responding to a question; chosen from a pool of some of
the most commonly asked ones that I have been asked over the years and
continue to be asked.
This month, I’d like to answer the following question:
How to make recreational centers more accessible.

Many may think that this is probably going to be a very daunting task but
let us take stock and see what we would need to do in order to make a
recreational center as accessible as can be. There are probably two major
things that we would need to start with and these are: Physical access to
the equipment itself, and being able to use the equipment with as little
sighted assistance as possible.

The name of the game is to make your physical center accessible and
available to those who are unable to see or those who are blind. Your
center should be laid out in such a manner that a blind person would need to
call on assistance from those around them for the most part. So with this
in mind, here are a few pointers to start with.

1. Make it easy for your equipment to be easy to get to. That is, and if
you can, make sure that there is enough room and space between each piece of
equipment.

2. Label the buttons of your equipment with dots or something that is raised
so that a blind person would be able to identify such buttons as: On/off,
increase and decrease in rate, increase in speed, increase and decrease in
incline, and so on.

Of course, it will always help to train your staff to interact with someone
who does not have sight and yes! Always a great idea to give them an
orientation to the center when they first come in and maybe a few more of
these afterwards.

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